Edward Willett

Women of influence: Five women, five extraordinary citizens

Here’s the cover story I wrote for the summer issue of Fine Lifestyles Regina, on five prominent women: Jacqui Shumiatcher, philanthropist; Susan Barber, lawyer; Darci Lang, motivational speaker; Janine Wilson, realtor; and Susan Minard, businesswoman. Enjoy!

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Every community is built by individuals, living their lives, reaching for goals, creating things, building things, donating time and effort and money to the causes they believe in.

Here are five prominent women—a philanthropist, a lawyer, a motivational speaker, a realtor and developer, and a business owner—who are part of our community today: extraordinary individuals whose drive and vision have shaped and continue to shape this wonderful corner of the world we call home.

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Jacqui Shumiatcher, Philanthropist

Regina would be a far poorer place culturally if not for one couple’s incredible generosity

If you enjoy the arts in Regina, you’re familiar with the name “Shumiatcher.” You may have attended a recital in the Shu-Box Theatre in the Riddell Centre, or a lecture in the Shumiatcher Theatre at the Mackenzie Art Gallery.

Perhaps you’ve watched a play in the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series at Globe Theatre, and at intermission mingled with other playgoers in the Shumiatcher Lobby. Or maybe you’ve toured a display of sculpture in the Shumiatcher Sculpture Court at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, or enjoyed a concert in the Shumiatcher Pops Series of the Regina Symphony Orchestra.

“It’s a little embarrassing,” admits Jacqui Shumiatcher, who with her late husband, Dr. Morris Shumiatcher, one of Canada’s most distinguished lawyers, has supported the arts (and many other worthy causes) in this city and province for more than half a century. “It’s nice, but when I meet people and they don’t know the name, I think, ‘Good.’”

Born in France, raised in Regina

Jacqui Shumiatcher (nee Clay) was born in Vendin-le-Viel, Pas de Calais, France, in 1923. She came to Canada with her parents in 1927 and has lived in Regina ever since.

“We lived on the north side, on the seven block of Robinson,” she recalls. “The city told us we would never have water there. We had to go and get the water from the well a block away, winter time or summer time.

“We had outhouses. We had a radio, but we didn’t have a telephone until I was about 18 or 19. There were wooden sidewalks, mud roads you got stuck in. We had to walk four or five blocks to the streetcar. We didn’t have snow removal.”

Jacqui attended Scott Collegiate, and after graduation worked in a number of positions, including as a teacher at Sacred Heart Academy. In 1955 she married Morris Shumiatcher (“Shumi”), counsel to Premier T.C. Douglas and adviser to the provincial cabinet from 1945 to 1949, who had gone on to practice law in Saskatchewan and B.C. She founded her own business, Managerial Services Ltd., to provide secretarial and managerial services to his law office.

Paying back to the community

From the very beginning, Morris and Jacqui Shumiatcher were philanthropically inclined. “He and I were both of the opinion that we made our living here in Regina, and we should pay back to the community that supported us,” Jacqui says.

Jacqui served on the executive of Regina Little Theatre, and as chairman of patrons, wrote letters to people urging them to donate. The Shumiatchers were also supporters of Globe Theatre from its beginning, and involved with the Regina Symphony Orchestra: Shumi was president and was also the RSO’s lawyer, and Jacqui was a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary and later joined the board of governors. Among other things, she chaired or co-chaired various major events, such as the annual Symphony Ball at the Hotel Saskatchewan.

New Dance Horizons, Juventus Choir, the Youth Ballet of Saskatchewan, Do it With Class Young People’s Theatre Co., Regina Lyric Musical Theatre, Prairie Opera, Opera Saskatchewan…the list of arts organizations that have benefited from the Shumiatchers’ generosity is almost endless.

But as Jacqui sees it, the generosity cuts both ways. “When you get involved, and you see backstage, and everybody volunteering, it opens your eyes to all sorts of creativity of people at all levels. That itself is a real gift. We figure we’ve been showered with gifts by artistic people involved in all fields.

“The people involved are so passionate. They’re willing to work at it and not expect to get equivalent pay for their work.”

Art collectors

Visual artists as well as performing artists have been recipients of the Shumiatcher generosity. Jacqui remembers buying three or four paintings from an artist in New Brunswick. “Almost a year later we had to write to her and ask why she hadn’t cashed her cheque. She said, ‘It was my first sale. I have it posted on the wall–it means so much to me!’” Jacqui laughs. “I told her, ‘Make a copy of it and cash the cheque now before it becomes ‘stale’.”

Although the Shumiatchers collected (and Jacqui continues to collect) many different kinds of art, their collection of Inuit art is particularly fine.

“Shumi went fishing at Lac La Ronge back in 1954 or 1955,” Jacqui recalls. “The Hudson Bay Post was run by a former Mountie. He talked to the Mountie, saw these Inuit art pieces, and fell madly in love with them. He bought a few pieces. His friends said he not only had rocks in the back of his car, he had rocks in his head!”

The collection grew and grew over the years. Morris Shumiatcher wrote for The Beaver magazine, which gave the Shumiatchers access to the The Hudson’s Bay House, the gallery of The Hudson’s Bay Company in Winnipeg, to which all Inuit Art was shipped from the north at that time. Many pieces (those not destined for the gallery) were purchased there.

A portion of the Shumiatcher collection is on display at the Mackenzie Art Gallery (in the Shumiatcher Sculpture Court, of course) through February 27, 2011. “When we lend them, we miss them,” Jacqui says.

A complete list of Jacqui’s accomplishments would be as long as this article, but notable honours include the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 1996, the B’Nai B’rith Citizen of the Year Award in 1999, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2001 and an honourary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Regina in 2002.

Jacqui has traveled to many places in her long life. “The advantage of traveling,” she says, “is you realize what other people don’t have. It makes what you have much more special and precious.”

“We really are spoiled, we Canadians. I think a lot of what we consider our necessities are really luxuries in other places.”

“We’re very lucky”

She loves her home city of Regina. “What’s not to love about it? We’re very lucky because we have so many artistic people here, and they improve the city a great deal. There are so many events to which we can go, and it doesn’t take three or four hours to get there. I can do three events in an evening. Where else can you do that, and feel you had a good time at each one, that you didn’t miss out?

“It’s wonderful having the library downtown, it’s always been very active in the community,” she continues. “When we were at our office at 2100 Scarth St. we would go to the main library downtown at noon and take a yoga class. Things like that, they’re little things and they’re little gems.

“We should just open our eyes more. A lot of people walk around and their eyes are half-closed. They’re not aware, they’re in their own little world. They miss so much.

“It’s too bad, because the world of Regina is nice. It must be nice, because I haven’t wanted to move away!”

For which fact, every Reginan should be grateful!

***

Susan Barber, Lawyer

One of Canada’s top lawyers in labour and employment law, she never wanted to be one

“I never really wanted to go into law,” says lawyer Susan Barber, “because I associated lawyers with politicians and I knew that I did not want to be a politician.”

Instead, she intended to become a journalist. “I took all the classes for journalism,” she says. “But I wrote the LSAT, and next thing I knew I was going to law school.”

It seems to have worked out for her. Today she’s a partner in McDougall Gauley LLP. She has been designated in the Canadian Legal Expert directory as a leading practitioner in labour law and listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of labour and employment law. She has acted as counsel for both unions and management in litigation and collective bargaining and is also a recognized arbitrator. She has rendered numerous decisions in labour disputes and human rights cases and has conducted investigations and made recommendations respecting workplace harassment issues.

Active community volunteer

An active community volunteer, Susan was honored in 2000 with the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Business, Labour and Professions. In 2007 she was named a “Woman of Influence” in Saskatchewan Business Magazine, and that same year received the Community Service Award from the Canadian Bar Association, Saskatchewan Branch.

She’s recently become chair of Information Services Corporation, which, among other things, administers land titles and the personal property and vital statistics registries in the province, and last year was also elected chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Regina. And if it seems oddly right that someone named Barber should be associated with the University of Regina, that would be because her father, Lloyd, was president of the university from 1976 until 1990.

Susan was born in Seattle, Wash., while her father was going to university there, but she grew up in Saskatoon, where he was vice-president of the University of Saskatchewan, moving to Regina in 1976 when he became president of the U of R.

Susan says her “constant” is Regina Beach. “We have always gone to Regina Beach, all my life. My Dad went to school there.” Susan says she was the second-youngest in a family of six kids, and every weekend her parents would load them in the van and take them to Regina Beach. “I was a lifeguard there from when I was 15 years old until I graduated from law school. From lifeguard to lawyer!”

Susan attended Buena Vista Public School in Saskatoon, then Luther College in Regina from Grade 8 to Grade 12. She took all of her post-secondary education in Saskatchewan, as well, earning a B.A. in English at the University of Regina and attending law school at the University of Saskatchewan.

“I had no real desire to leave the province,” she says. “I’m pretty home-grown.” She notes that her parents and three brothers all live here, and her older sister and younger sister and her children come home every summer. “Saskatchewan is home. We have pretty strong roots here.”

Susan articled at McDougall Ready, and except for being seconded to the government in 1989, has remained with them ever since. The firm merged with Gauley & Co. in 2000 to become today’s McDougall Gauley.

Her focus on labour and employment law is something that has grown up over time, she says. “It was just something I really enjoyed, I gravitated to it.”

She’s also one of about 75 adjudicators to hear Indian Residential School claims and decide if the claimants are to be compensated, and how much. “That takes me all over western Canada,” she says.

University and Crown involvement

David Barnard, past president of the University of Regina, asked her to join the board of governors several years ago. More recently, she was asked if she would go on one of the boards of a Crown Corporation, which was how she ended up on the board of ISC.

“I’m terrible at saying no,” Susan says. “I just always thought that you serve where you live. I think it’s probably a big part of my upbringing. My parents were always very community-minded.

“And,” she adds, “it sort of feeds on itself. You get involved in one thing, and you’re asked to go on another thing.”

Not all of her involvement in community organizations has been at the level of university and Crown Corporation boards, either. Susan became involved very early on with the Royal Lifesaving Society, and was the first woman Commodore of the Regina Beach Yacht Club.

Susan’s husband, Gary Benson, was retired but got drawn back into the workforce to do some consulting and has been busy ever since. She has six step-children and, coming from a family of six herself, has “a horde of nieces and nephews.”

Susan’s oldest brother is in real estate development, her next-oldest brother is vice-president of Dominion Construction, and her next-oldest brother owns a Bobcat dealership; they’re all in Regina. Her eldest sister is a nurse in Kamloops, while her younger sister is a stay-at-home Mom and lives in Texas.

Globe and golf

For fun, Susan enjoys going to Globe Theatre, and she and her husband like to golf at the Wascana Golf and Country Club. They go to a lot of university events, as well, and on any nice day, Susan loves going down to Wascana Centre. “It’s such a nice setting,” she says. “Sometimes after work I just go down there and park at the Marina and go for a walk around the lake.”

But it’s not Wascana Lake that holds pride of place in her heart, but the lake at Regina Beach. “I love the lake, I love the water.”

She also enjoys travelling. “We always take a few weeks of holiday to go down to Florida in late fall. I take a suitcase full of books (usually the latest bestseller—I read too much serious stuff throughout the year!) and my golf clubs. I love to golf. We also try to go scuba-diving in the winter.”

But, she says, “I love Regina. I grew up around Regina. I have wonderful friends in Regina, my family’s nearby, I love where I work. I travel a lot, but I am always happy to come home.”

***

Darci Lang, Motivational Speaker

It’s a simple message that resonates: 90 percent of life is great; why not focus on that 90 percent?

When she was very young, Darci Lang’s father told her, “Do something for a living that makes you happy.”

It’s a message she’s taken to heart…but more than that, a message on which she has based a very successful career as a motivational speaker, famous for her mantra, Focus on the 90%—the title of her nationally bestselling book.

Darci was born in Biggar, was raised in Edmonton, and moved to Winnipeg when she was 18. “My parents have both been married three times, so I have 10 half-brothers and sisters,” she says. “I grew up very quickly, and had lots of really unique influences.”

In Winnipeg that first summer after moving there, Darci got “a really neat job” at Mallabar. “I was mentored by some unbelievable men,” she says.

She was only 24 when she was able to buy her own store. “We had an opening in Regina, so I moved my store back to Saskatchewan. If you’re from Saskatchewan you always end up back here!”

The question

The business proved successful. “We were booming,” Darci says. “Then my TD bank manager asked me a question that changed the course of my life. He asked me to be a speaker at his staff meeting.”

The bank manager noted that she was always genuinely happy when she came to the bank, and his staff members were interested in her philosophy. Darci told him that she lived a mantra from a book she read as a teenager, Attitude is Your Most Precious Possession, that talked about holding a little magnifying glass out in front of yourself all the time, choosing what to focus on.

Both growing up and as a business owner, Darci says, there were both positives and negatives, and she tried to focus on the positives. She told the bank manager she’d come up with the ratio that 90 percent of life is great, and 10 percent isn’t, and it’s better to focus on the 90 percent than the 10 percent.  “He said, ‘Perfect, come share that.’ So weeks after owning my tuxedo store, I became a speaker. I started to get referrals, and 17 years later my business is still 100-percent referral.”

As if a new tuxedo store and a new life as a motivational speaker weren’t enough, she also seized an opportunity to host a new bridal show, The Most Incredible Bridal Show, at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts (now the Conexus Arts Centre). So in the first year she lived in Regina, she opened three companies within three months.

“I was a very busy entrepreneur in those early years,” she recalls. “When I became pregnant with our daughter, Jayda, who is now nine, I got out of the business so I could stay home and run my home-based business as a professional speaker. I sold my store, and again worked on the speaking business and the trade-show business full-time. My husband (Darren) quit his job and for five years we travelled as a family.” (Two years after Jayda, John, now seven, was born.)

“We raised our babies on the road,” Darci continues. “We’d travel across Canada, and my husband would care for our children while I spoke. There were definitely 90-percent days but there were 10-percent days too.”

Although she still travels every week, she scaled back when John and Jayda entered school full-time.  Now she mostly travels in the spring and fall, but she tries to be away only one night a week. “I could be away five, but I’m not willing to pay the price.”

Still developing the business

With the help of her assistant, Sandra Preikschat, Darci is continuing to develop her business. They’re working on enhancing her presence in social media, plus she’s writing a second book and is developing a four-CD series with a workbook, all based around Focus on the 90%.

Darci says being from Saskatchewan “is marketable to everyone. You’re expected to be friendly and easy to deal with, and it’s true, I am, I only look high-maintenance. We just have a kind of gratitude and humility that people really, really appreciate.

“And the fact that I am 41, I’m a working mother, that’s really marketable, too, because the majority of my audiences are working parents. Trying to be everything to everybody is something that rings true to a lot of people. It’s hard to talk about balance and focusing on the positive if you’re not living a life that’s congruent with theirs.

“I’m an incredible family person. There’s nothing more important to me. Being a wife and a mother far exceeds anything I do as a speaker.”

“A fun-all-the-time family”

Darci says her husband, Darren, is a 41-year-old with the energy of a 10-year-old boy. “We’re a fun-all-the-time family,” she says. “Every day has to have an adventure, excitement.

“We travel a lot throughout the year—the family will still come with me if it’s a fun place to go—so we really are a laid-back family. We’ve stayed in so many hotels, flown in so many airplanes, that to be in our backyard is heaven.”

Darci says she loves everything about Regina. “People who don’t appreciate Regina haven’t travelled enough,” she says. (And, she adds, “People who don’t appreciate Regina have never been to a Rider game!)

“You have a small-town environment in the middle of the city,” she continues. “I really should live somewhere else because of my connection flights alone, but I would never leave Regina. Besides, I married a farm boy from Saskatchewan. I would never leave. It is the best city bar none in this country to live in.

I could not be happier,” Darci concludes. “At some point you have to look around at your life and say, 90 percent is good enough. We get to live in great country, a great province, a great city.”

***

Janine Wilson, Realtor and Developer

“The Matchmaker” loves finding the right house for people—even if she has to design and build it herself

There’s a reason Janine Wilson likes to call herself “The Matchmaker.”

“I love finding the right house that people are looking for,” she says. “There’s nothing better than the feeling that you’ve found the perfect house.”

Matching people with the houses that are perfect for them has taken her from realtor to builder to designer to condo developer. “I just kept adding dimensions,” she says. “It wasn’t enough to just sell. If you don’t find what you need, you have to find a way to make it happen.”

Janine was born in Daytona Beach, Fla., and moved to Yorkton with her parents when she was 17. “My Dad was Canadian. He wanted to move back home,” she explains.

She lived in Yorkton until1994, working first with the Bank of Montreal, but getting into real estate in 1989. She also got married and had two children there, and it was having children that led her into real estate.

“That came about from me looking for something where I could be home with my kids after school and not have set hours. At lunch one day a friend in real estate said, ‘You’d be really good at real estate.’

“I can’t imagine doing anything else”

“I phoned that day, had the courses delivered to me the next day, wrote the exam three months later and never looked back. I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

She moved to Regina with her children in 1994, joining Home Life Crawford Realty – Crawford Homes as a realtor, and quickly got into new construction. “I had built two houses on my own before that,” she says. “I really like the new-construction aspect of real estate. It can make it so much easier. It gives you another option. If you can’t find what your clients are looking for in the re-sale market, you can build it for them.

“Over the years I found there was a lack of affordable housing.  I got into developing condos, because not everybody can afford a brand-new house. It was something that was missing in Regina at the time; we were really short on townhouse-style condos. So I felt I wanted to start filling a need.”

Janine says she remembers when she first moved to Regina that people told her “the first year’s always tough,” but, she says, “I never found that. I never had a tough year, really. I just kept adding dimensions.

The condo projects she’s developed, she says, “are all different. They’re not cookie-cutter. There are bi-levels, bungalows and suites all mixed together. I didn’t just zero in on one type of person. My condo projects, anyone can live in.” That mixture of styles was so unique it posed a challenge: the land titles office had to figure out how to deal with something it had never dealt with before. “I never thought of that when I designed them!” Janine says.

A love of design

Janine says she loves designing the houses herself. “I love AutoCad drafting.  I design all the condos that I build.” She got into designing the same way she got into the other aspects of her career. “People wanted something,” she says. “You couldn’t find it, so you had to build it. Then you look at it and say, ‘I want the living room here and the bedroom there,’ so I got into design.”

With all the dimensions to her career, it’s no surprise Janine finds herself busy. “I have so much going on,” she says. “I do resale as a MLS Realtor, I build new houses for Crawford Homes, I develop Condos for Windsor Crossing Developments, and I just started a new custom home-building company of my own, Janson Homes.”

Janine’s daughter, Danielle, is also a real-estate agent in Regina, and mother to two sons, Janine’s grandsons. Her son, Devin, works for the New York Islanders in marketing and sales and lives in Long Island.

“I stayed in Regina mostly because I was raising my kids here, now I’m staying because my grandkids are here,” Janine says. Regina had “everything” for her kids, she notes. “Both kids played hockey. My son played in the WHL and my daughter played university hockey. Hockey was a big draw, that’s what kept us in Regina. It’s a nice-sized city to do that in.

“Even though the kids both left, my daughter went to Alberta after school and my son played hockey in B.C., Regina was always home.”

Busy though she always is, Janine does try to get out on the golf course when she can. She also enjoys looking after her grandsons, and she likes to get out to New York to see her son every so often. She also travels to Florida when she can, since she still has family there; but, she notes, “I have to take my work with me. You can’t be gone very long when you’re in real estate.”

But in a few more years, she says, “I hope to start to semi-retire and spend time with grandkids, and split my time between here and Florida and New York. I will always have a place here because my daughter will always be here. She married a Regina boy, Ian Creaser—his family are long- time residents.”

“Everything is here”

As a real estate agent, Janine says, she’s come to know her adopted city well. “Everything is here,” she says again. “What’s not here?”

And there’s great potential for even more, she thinks. “We haven’t seen anything yet,” she says. “I feel that there are at least another five to eight years of this steady growth still to come in Regina.

“I think it’s about time,” she continues. “Regina has been lagging for many, many years, and I think Saskatchewan has a lot to offer. We’ve just been biding our time, and now that the economy is starting to turn around, Saskatchewan is going to be right there.

“They’re going to be writing about Saskatchewan for a while yet. It’s going to be the place to be.”

***

Susan Minard, Businesswoman

Taking an RV business from scratch to one of Western Canada’s largest in just six years

Susan Minard admits she didn’t have any particular knowledge of the RV lifestyle when she started Minard’s Leisure World in 2004. But her father-in-law did.

“He said, “We should have an RV store. People want to RV and they can’t get parts here, there’s nothing here for them. So we decided to give it a whirl.”

It whirled pretty well. In just six years Minard’s Leisure World has grown to be one of the largest RV businesses not just in Saskatchewan but in all of Western Canada, and has a growing string of awards to its credit:  Kustom Koach Top Dealer in North America in 2007, three Top Dealer awards in North America from KZ Manufacturing, KZ Manufacturing’s Outstanding Service Award, and more.

“It surprises me how quick it grew,” Susan admits.

Born and educated in Weyburn

Susan was born and went to school in Weyburn. “I was raised on a farm with one sister (seven years older), and learned how to work hard, how to think for myself and how to be self motivated.

“We had no brothers, so we did our share of all the farm work. We drove tractor, we drove truck, we did it all because there wasn’t anyone else to do it.”

Susan was also involved in music from an early age, eventually achieving her Grade 8 Conservatory in Piano with honours. “That taught me self-discipline,” she says.

There was something else she learned as a child.  “We weren’t raised with money, but we were raised with love and respect. So in turn, I learned to respect others. I truly believe that it was my upbringing that has allowed me to do what I do, and to have faith in myself and in others.”

Out of high school, Susan says, “I did a million things. I worked at a school, I worked at a newspaper.”

But the thing she enjoyed most was a home-based clothing company, Balance Fashions. “You went out and did your marketing. I was their top sales person in Canada, not just in Saskatchewan.”

Her success didn’t go unnoticed. Representatives of the Victoria-based company flew out to meet with her, and offered her the job of national marketing director. “That was a real coup for me because I was on my own. They could have hired someone local, but they didn’t.”

The job involved a lot of travelling, and, says Susan, “was an incredible education in marketing, which has been a great asset in marketing Minard’s Leisure World.”

When Minard’s Leisure World began in 2004, it had a staff of five and sold travel trailers and fifth wheels from a single manufacturer.

“Within two years we recognized the potential and the need for more floor plans and price ranges to suit our customers. We now have more than 16 different brand names to choose from and a staff of 30,” Susan says.

And that staff, says Susan, is “an amazing group of people that genuinely care about our business and, most importantly, our customers.”

Not only that, she adds, “They are a lot of fun. There is laughter every day, amongst each other and with the customers. We want people to feel welcome and relaxed at our store. And by the smiles on their faces when they leave…I’d say they do!”

A “people person”

Susan says she’s a “people person” herself, and very much a hands-on manager. “The only way I get to know product is by selling it. So I am in sales as well as the sales manager. I go on research and buying trips to ensure we have the right product mix, write and voice all our radio ads, plus of course conduct strategic planning for the business. The business has really expanded—not only with RV sales; we also sell modular and manufactured homes, park models, and Jacuzzi hot tubs.”

In addition, Susan notes, the company recently developed a line of mobile office trailers that can be used for construction jobs, by oilfield consultants, or by anyone else who needs an “office on wheels.” Minard’s Leisure World is the exclusive Canadian distributor for these units.

Minard’s Leisure World is involved with many different community organizations and charities. “We are substantial donors to the Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Children’s Wish Foundation, Family Place, Envision Counseling, 4-H, Mainprize Park and Nickle Lake, and also donate to more than 45 other organizations on an annual basis,” Susan says. “We’re Saskatchewan people. We make our living here. It’s giving back.”

Many of their customers are from Regina, a city Susan says they love. “We take in concerts and stage productions as well as thoroughly enjoy going out for a great meal. Our favorite restaurants would be Silver’s and Earl’s. We are also huge Rider fans…but of course, who isn’t?”

Susan has been married for more than 30 years to Gene Minard, “my full partner at work as well as home.” They have a son and a daughter, Chris and Lea, both of whom are working in the oilfield. Lea and her husband, David, are expecting their first child this fall, so Susan and Gene are excited about becoming grandparents.

Susan bred, raised and trained champion collies for many years, and has collies in countries all over the world, including Germany, the U.S., Australia and Korea. “I was the top collie breeder in Canada in 2000 and 2002,” she notes.

“We love what we do”

She says Minard’s Leisure World has succeeded because, “Our passion for the business is second to none. We love what we do, and passion will take you further than anything.”

Though she and her family were novices to RVing when she started the business, that has long since changed. “We absolutely love it now. It’s something we enjoy doing as a couple and with family and friends. We totally enjoy the lifestyle.”

Susan says what’s most fulfilling for her in running a successful RV business is the chance to share that lifestyle with other families. “You’re dealing with people who are buying an RV because they want to enhance their life, slow down, relax, take time with family and friends and discover the beauty in nature that surrounds them in this province and beyond.

“Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

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